Upcycled Frame Chalkboard

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

I have an issue with craft stores. When I find something I really, really like and it’s marked half off I buy it. And it’s silly because the craft stores have a rotating system of what is on sale. So if I don’t get it this week it will still be on sale again this month. And if I don’t have a use for it RIGHT NOW why in the heck do I feel like I absolutely must buy it RIGHT NOW?

And so I craft hoard. It’s a terrible obsession and now with crafting spaces in TWO states I’ve got tons of duplicates plus there are things I guarantee you I can’t even remember I have in the other state right now. Guarantee!

So ages ago I bought this open back frame and I had no clue what I was going to do with it. But what if when I did need it they were all sold out? It’s not like I don’t have 2 of these stores within an hour of me or anything. And it’s not like I don’t go to them at least every other week. Oh, who am I kidding? I go there every week. So in the process of packing to list and move this dang frame stuck out like a sore thumb. It had no place to be and nothing to do. But that’s all changed now.

Before we get started I simply must tell you about the cute saying you see on the chalkboard above. That’s not my design? It’s actually a free printable by the very talented blogger/designer Dawn Nicole. If you want to chalk this design to your new board, or if you want the printable to use in a frame or the many other ways freebies are used, head on over to get that now! Be Kind or Be Quiet Free Printable at Dawn Nicole Blog.

For this project you will need:

  • Frame
  • Thin plywood (this is a remnant from making new bottoms for kitchen drawers)
  • Saw
  • Chalkboard paint (double check because they tried to mix me “chalky” paint TWICE!)
  • Foam paint roller
  • Free printable by Be Kind or Be Quiet
  • Pencil
  • Chalk (I used a chalk marker)

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

Lay your frame down onto your wood and trace the inside. Measure the lip for in the backside of the frame where the glass/image/etc. is actually held into the frame  from the back. Add just a smidge less than that measurement all of the way around to cut the right size.

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

Since my frame is oval a jig saw was required to make the cut. Use whatever saw you need/have for the shape you want.

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

I wanted a blue chalkboard plain and simple. In all honesty I also had an old chalkboard that I was going to have my dad chop to put inside but it was black and my dad could use the uncut board in another project. Instead I got a quart of tintable chalkboard paint in that fabulous blue I was after!

Be sure to CHECK what kind of paint they are going to tint for you. Twice I had to ask and insist that I needed CHALKBOARD paint and not chalky finish paint (like for furniture projects that are so popular right now).

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

To get a nice, smooth surface use a foam roller. This one is specifically for wood cabinetry meaning I’m going to get a really smooth coat of paint down. A bumpy chalkboard with brush lines isn’t going to be so fab.

Paint multiple coats alternating directions. First paint left to right and then the second coat will be top to bottom and then back to left to right. I used a total of 6 very thin coats. My roller was wrapped in foil and tossed in the freezer for future blue chalkboard projects.

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

Grab some super strong glue and glue your board into the frame. Here I’m using E6000 some super strong stuff. This is white which I didn’t even realize they sold until I accidentally bought it instead of the clear! Use something heavy to keep the board down until the glue takes hold.

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

I had actually seen the neatest thing on Facebook the other day (which basically created my sudden desire for a blue chalkboard) where you can transfer words onto the board to be chalked so you get one of those fancy sign kind of looks.

Basically you rub your pencil along the back side of your printable (remember to get yours here!) so that you have the gray graphite-stuff all along the backside of each shape/letter. Flip over and while keeping the paper steady, trace the images and letters to transfer the pencil onto the board. Works like a dream!

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

Be sure to let your board dry before handling if using a marker (so much easier than stick chalk!) and then be careful because you can accidentally wipe the design away or smudge it.

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

Set with some more mod decor this sign makes for an eclectic space.

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.

And it just so happens to say something I truly believe. If you can’t be kind be quiet!

Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.Upcycle an open back frame into a new chalkboard in your favorite color.